Thursday, 1 April 2010
Kings and Queen 
French filmmaker Arnaud Desplechin’s Kings and Queen, like his next film A Christmas Tale, is easy to appreciate but difficult to fall in love with. Not just that; like the latter, it is a stylistically brave and tonally irreverent, whimsical and pointed take on otherwise serious matters as dysfunctional family, unrequited love, unhappiness and illness. The basic premise concerns a single mom who finds herself at the crossroads of her seemingly well-laid life when her father is diagnosed with cancer; meanwhile her ex-husband, who she wants to fall back on, is having problems as he has been forcefully admitted into a mental asylum. Desplechin tries to cover so many areas and angles, both in terms of plot and structure, that the viewers might find it difficult to find their concentration and involvement going, resulting in an eclectic but an extremely unpredictable work – which takes me right back to my first point. The ensuring hotchpotch, if I’m allowed to say so, is saved largely because of the fine performances of the film’s two principal leads – the somber Emmanuelle Devos and the inimitable Mathieu Amalric. Desplechin might have had a swell time making this film, but watching it might not be as much fun for most.
Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Genre: Drama/Comedy/Social Satire/Family Drama